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Talking to GQ from his home in the Hollywood Hills, Brad Pitt acknowledges that the past six months have been a "weird" time. In September, Angelina Jolie, his partner of 12 years and his wife for the past two, filed for divorce, amid a swirl of tabloid reports about his drinking and possible child abuse of one of their six kids.

Although he owns other properties, Pitt is now living in the house he calls his kids' "childhood home." He moved around a bit after the split, but according to GQ, even though his kids aren't living there anymore, "he's decided it's important that he is." Since he's no longer living with his family, his current best friend and roommate fills some of the void: a bulldog named Jacques. He says he's just started therapy, and he loves it (Pitt, not Jacques.)

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For Pitt, the worst part of everything that's happened in the last year came in September, when an incident on a private plane with his son Maddox, 15, led to an anonymous phone call to authorities. That was followed by an FBI investigation of Pitt, which was later closed with no charges filed. Five days after the incident on the plane, Angelina Jolie filed for divorce.

Pitt actually only mentions Jolie by name only once during the interview, when he tells interviewer Michael Paterniti that he should see her Cambodia movie, First They Killed My Father.

But he spoke a lot about their split, and the aftermath.

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The 53-year-old actor admitted that his first urge after Jolie filed for divorce was to cling on, but added that his situation felt like that old cliché, "If you love someone set them free."

Pitt reflected, "Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return."

"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," said Pitt. "After that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court—it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true.". . . I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees."

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He added, "It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."

But Brad Pitt's been using his emotional and family crisis to get sober, and he's impressively reflective on the experience. He continued:

I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I'm running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know—things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I've got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that's part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.

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Now Brad Pitt has given up drinking and drugs, and is in the process of becoming "un-numb"—starting to feel things again.

He added, "And by the way: There's no love without loss. It's a package deal."

Read Pitt's full interview with GQ here.